Alpine Living Issue VII. New Zealand. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ©

Māori street artists paint indigenous birds on the walls of Auckland, displaying their heritage

Thomas Joa

Mary-Margaret Schmidt

New Zealand is known for its wide range of bird species, which can be found across Auckland. While it is common to see birds flying across the sky in any major urban area, Auckland also has large, colorful birds painted on walls throughout the city. These birds are the work of Māori street artists Charles and Janine Williams.

"Birds for us, an indigenous people, mean a whole lot," Charles said. "If you needed a GPS, you looked at a bird, you didn't look at your phone."

Charles and Janine use their work to promote awareness for native birds. They are currently working on Project Paint the Pacific, aimed at raising awareness for the critically endangered birds, painting on 27 islands around the Pacific.

"I think our art is more storytelling," Janine said, as Charles added, "It's not just aesthetics, We're gonna paint something with depth because that's our origin."

The Birds on the Bricks

Click the images to view full-sized photos.

Discover more of auckland

New Zealand Doughnuts

Auckland Sky Tower

Grab a board